CD Review: Patty Larkin
Red = Luck (Vanguard)
By Caroline Horn
Whenever Patty Larkin opens her mouth to sing, a textured tapestry unfolds. Hers is a richly expressive, sometimes weathered voice with moments of breathy sweetness. 1997's Perishable Fruit launched Larkin's exploration of how to envelop that voice in new, evocative ways by using acoustic instruments unpredictably and creating subtle, ethereal vocal loops. On Red=Luck, she continues on that road with moody, atmospheric arrangements. While her attention seems to have strayed from the keen songwriting craft on past releases, Larkin harnesses sonic elements to great effect. She painstakingly weaves between dissonance and harmony on "Normal" and layers shimmering vocals on the band-propelled "Different World" to inspire both anguish and hope. The title cut is a brief, delicate instrumental that, like an invocation of good fortune, twinkles with mystery.
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